“Learn step-by-step how to look for your first job and to prepare to impress at your interview”.
By: John D. Gaskell, author of
You are what you are perceived to be. Let me show you how to become a MARKETING genius.
Getting experience (Part 4 of a multi-part article)
Once you are a graduate in your chosen field, the first step is to get a job that you will be getting experience and to qualify you to eventually take a licensure exam, if required.
The Job Search
Depending on the job market at the time of your graduation, you may not have a wide range of job choices. But if you get a job unrelated to your goals, it is unlikely to lead to the success that you desire. You may have to consider commuting to a larger city to find work in your field.
First, prepare a “resume,” which, at this point, will only include your education and your summer job, if it involved your chosen career. But your summer job as a life guard will not impress a prospective employer. Include praiseworthy accomplishments, like being an “Eagle Scout.” Mention interests concerning your career, but certainly don’t state an interest in eventually opening your own firm/business.
Get a list of related businesses in your area. Try to find a website for each to learn a little about them. Next, print your resume on good paper and deliver it to each business on your list, don’t mail it.
Dress for success. Men should wear a suit or sport coat and tie. A suite and bow-tie worked best for me. Women should wear a sweater and black dress pants or a blazer and skirt. Explain that you are a recent (specialty) graduate and would like to speak with the manager/president/chief engineer (Whatever applies in your case). If they ask why, reply: “I am seeking advice and will only take a few minutes.” If they say he/she is busy, reply: “That’s ok, I can wait.” If all else fails, ask the receptionist to present a copy of your resume and ask for the person’s business card. If it is a good size company, provide a second copy of your resume for the “Personnel Department.” If you don’t hear back within a week, call the person to verify that he received your resume and to inquire about job openings. Prepare a list of questions and have a copy ready for each call with spaces for the answers:
- Did you receive my resume?
- Are there any entry level openings?
- Are any openings likely in the near future? If so, when?
- Can you recommend competitors who might be hiring?
- Do you have any advice for a young person just starting out?
- Can I come in to your office and observe a typical day? (An eight-hour job interview)
Send a letter or e-mail thanking them for taking your call and for the advice. (Include another copy of your resume.)
If you don’t quickly get a job, stop back to see the same people. Their needs can change in just a few weeks. Consider bringing a box of chocolates, pastries or flowers for the receptionist who said that the person that you wanted to see was too busy to see you. Your goal is getting experience.
- If you are responding to an employment posting, make a list of the skills desired so that you are prepared to discuss and relate them to your training and education. Don’t be concerned if you don’t have all the qualifications listed. There may be an entry-level position available.
- Make a list of five skills and qualifications of yours that you can share during the interview.
- Go to the company’s website to learn more about the company so that you will be better prepared for questions, like “What interests you about our company?”
- Make a list of likely questions that you may be asked and prepare answers: Why should I hire you? Is there anything about the job or the company that I haven’t told you? What are your career goals in the next 5 years and how will you achieve them? What are your salary requirements?
- Make a list of questions about the job and the company, and bring up your questions if the interviewer doesn’t offer the information.
- Ask if you can meet someone in a similar position and the person who will be your immediate supervisor.
- Ask about the skills that you will be learning and applying in the available position, and access their relevance to your future goals. For example, assume that you are an electrical engineer and wish to open a practice designing electrical systems for buildings. A position as a lighting designer will not teach you the diversity of other skills needed.
- Try not to look like a “deer-in-the-headlights”; practice in front of a mirror. Listen carefully, and don’t be afraid to take notes during the interview. Bring extra copies of your resume, including a list of references. Also, bring your list of questions, a pad (in a folio), and a pen. Don’t bring a drink or chew gum, and turn your cell phone off.
- Send the interviewer a “Thank You” note or e-mail.
You may have to widen your job search area, but, with persistence, you will eventually be getting experience in your chosen field.
If you truly want to be perceived as “The smartest person in the room”, get Jack’s new book: How to become the “SMARTEST PERSON” in the Room, and learn the details. You are what you are perceived to be. Let me show you how to become a MARKETING genius. Visit: TheEngineersResource.com to find out more.
Excerpted from How to become the “SMARTEST PERSON” in the Room. © 2018 John D. Gaskell. Used with permission of Professional Value Books, Inc. All rights reserved. Order at TheEngineersResource.com. Use coupon code “room” and save.
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